Awakening to our Refugee Issue
In this next step you are asked to reflect upon how you might be able to make a contribution towards assisting in the delivery of an important component of the solution to our global refugee crisis arising in Europe. Below is a list of the style of assistance you may be awakened to consider in volunteering contributions to our Refugee effort:-
- Identify any housing that might be available to accommodate refugees on either a permanent or temporary basis
- Preparedness to support families or individuals find employment (full-time, part-time or casual), work experience or volunteer work
- Identify opportunities for employment, work experience or volunteer work
- Donate goods and services targeted to the needs of people and families resettling in Australia
- Identify with people’s cultural and/or religious traditions by helping them connect with appropriate people or local service communities
- Participate in educating peoples in English or as a translator to English and in integrating them into your local community in order to gain exposure to their education in English
- Hosting events, playgroups, BBQs and the likes to welcome people into our local communities
The better prepared our local community is for Australia’s intake of refugees, the more likely we are to be included in the initial in-take of refugees and any subsequent allocations. Clearly the most important part of the solution is the eventual cessation of the conflict and persecutions driving this refugee crisis. Unfortunately, there is little more ordinary people can do than we are already doing towards this end through diplomacy. There are no signs on the horizon that this vital part of the end solution is likely to occur soon. While there have been several (UN) attempts to instigate a Syrian “cease-fire”, none have been successful as the conflicting parties are unwilling to come to the table for diplomatic discussions towards reasonable negotiations.
Ordinary people coming to Australia claiming protection are not aliens, but our brothers and sisters. If they cannot find protection in their own countries, they are entitled to claim it from other nations, including Australia. For most refugees this is not a journey of choice. Refugees must take enormous risks to reach safety. The flows of refugees are driven largely by political terror and human rights abuses, not economic forces or a desire to live in a richer country. There is no escape from the moral imperative to help them. These are ordinary people like ourselves, who understandably tend to fear the dangers of their transformation journey far less than the persecution and dangers from which they have fled. The benefits to Australia, in us being successful at embracing our refugees in-take within our community, are many. Past refugees have brought a wonderful diversity to our culture, added to our workforce through their skills and hard work and have added youth and vitality to our nation. All the while adding to our relatively small population size and supplementing our workforce and economic growth, at a time when we remain a vast country relatively empty of people. In fact Australia’s population growth is at an all time low because of both our low birth rate and low immigration intake. Our rate of unemployment has recently dropped from 6.2% to 5.8%, suggesting we could begin having shortages in some particular lines of employment; like labourers and trade-persons necessary to sustain our housing demand. The argument that a refugee intake will take local jobs and drive down wages is unfounded. In fact the opposite has found to be true. Jobs for locals actually increases after the influx of refugees settles apparently because of the stimulating effect on the region’s economy. In fact Australia’s potential as the second only nation to have grown its economy constantly for the last 12 years could be at risk unless we do this well at growing our population and our associated economy. Organisations like St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Care, Salvation Army, Asylum Seeker centres and many others organisations are well versed in contributing to the solution of similar problems (our homeless, unemployed, poor, disabled, freed prisoners, etc.), so this is not a totally new experience.
If you are already convinced that you want to signup as a Volunteer to help with our Broken Bay Refugee intake, please click below on. Please include in your submission the type of contribution you would be willing to provide (especially in those areas of need projected above:-
In the signup form, please sight the areas where you feel you can best make contributions as a refugee volunteer or donations you would be prepared to make (be they food, furniture, goods or financial support, etc.). At this early stage the purpose is to pro-actively create of bank of Volunteers and an appreciation for the type of refugee support potentially available across Northern Beaches for our intake of 400 refugees.
The Yourself Helper website offers an opportunity for you to identify yourself as one of those who wish to ensure our Australian community is a welcoming place for our refugees and is successful in effectively integrating them into our community, providing them protection; in the hope of a better life with us. You are encouraged to “Register” as a valid YSH user for your involvement and “Sign-up” as a Volunteer for a variety of Refugee Initiatives required supporting, helping and caring for our (Syrian) Refugees. You are invited to share your thoughts on how you feel you might best make an effective contribution and encouraged to discuss your ideas on how your community might take some refugee(s) under their wing, walk in their shoes for a while and work with them in supporting their immediate and short term needs. Be part of an altruistic journey of not only of self-transformation but also the transformation of our refugees within our prosperous our nation as they become effectively integrated into our community.
The depth of reflection which follows is designed to assist and encourage you in making a committed decision to undertake voluntary work assisting our Syrian refugee intake. The manner in which this is undertaken is for you to consider; whether you contribute as an individual and as part of your local community across the four tiers of your life – known as the YSH Framework for Life (F4L); your Physical Body, Mind, Soul and optionally your Spiritual dimension (if that is of your persuasion). The first Physical tier discussed involves both your physical capabilities, your assets and situation, as they might relate to helping our refugees with their physical wants and needs (more so than by way of making financial donations). More likely this would entail volunteering your physical services or donating some of your personal possessions. You might elect to offer help of your own accord or more likely become part of an authenticated community initiative, say working as a volunteer with the Salvos or Vinnies. The greater the number of ordinary Australian that are awakened to the plight of our refugee, the sooner these refugees will be able to integrate effectively into our society, regain some resemblance of normality in their life and thereafter begin making their own contribution to enriching our culture and our economic growth. This relatively small gesture can become your way of making a contribution to solving the larger global refugee crisis and encouraging other nations to do likewise.
The Yourself Helper website offers an opportunity for you to identify yourself as one of those who wish to ensure your Australian community is a welcoming place for our refugees and is successful in effectively integrating them into our community, providing them protection and the hope of a better life with us. You are encouraged to “Register” as a valid YSH user and “Sign-up” as a Volunteer for a variety of Refugee Initiatives supporting, helping and caring for our (Syrian) Refugees. You are invited to share your thoughts on how you feel you might best to make an effective contribution and encouraged to discuss ideas on how your community might take some refugee(s) under their wing, walk in their shoes for a while and work with them in supporting their immediate and short term needs. Be part of an altruistic journey of not only self-transformation but the transformation of our refugees and our nation as they become effectively integrated into our community.
Tier 1 – Physical Body-centred Self
The Physical dimension involves considering whether you are a candidate for self-help or have a preference for volunteering as part of a Community Initiative delivering to the physical needs of our refugees, such as:-
- Informing them of all the charitable works available to refugees for food, clothing, living utilities, basic shelter, etc.
- Helping them grow is self-confidence and esteem by playing an active role in your local community (possibly volunteering in the efforts to help and associate with other refugees less advanced in their integration into the community)
- Helping them find sustainable paid work as their prime exit strategy for accelerated integration into our community, just as it applies our own homeless, unemployed, poor, disabled, ex-prisoners, etc.
- Helping them find permanent accommodation in various forms of affordable housing
- Welcoming them into your home and introducing them to your friends and community
- Creating social events which they can join in, contribute to and enjoy mixing with other people who care about them
- Organising or joining support networks – physical (like sports clubs) or virtual (like Yourself Helper)
- Introducing yourself to refugees and listening to their stories
- Letting your politicians know how passionate you feel about this issue and seek to help
- Informing refugees of their rights and how to obtain welfare support (JPs, Legal Aid, etc.)
- Having refugees participate in your local Parish, Sports Institutions, Community activities
The most challenging need across Northern Beaches is permanent accommodation for small families. Due to the on-going increase in house prices and rental accommodation, it is likely to be difficult to find sufficient proper accommodation for our refugee intake (400). Some form of permanent accommodation is essential for the proper establishment of a family environment for children and for the parent(s) seeking some form of meaningful work.
Tier 2 – Physical Mind-centred Self
You are probably already aware that the most common reasons why ordinary people like yourself have problems/issues/difficulties moving forward in taking upon such care roles, are predicaments of the mind. Hesitation, like “What would people think if I were to…..”? is a typical hesitation point. Two aspects of our mind-centred self are covers here:-
- our own mental state for either taking upon self-help, making donations, becoming a volunteer or as a subject matter expert or administrator
- our ability to empathise with the mental aspects of the refugees you would be faced with
The trauma of the events from which refugees are escaping, their journey seeking protection and safety, together with the dangers to which they become exposed contribute significantly to depression, anxiety attacks and other related mental disorders. This is clearly going to be the case of with our refugee intake. Experiences in helping our own homeless, poor, elderly and disadvantage have shown that towards 80% have some form of mental disorder, much being brought on by the traumas they have experienced. Just as there should be no stigma associated with a refugee’s physical health or needing help with physical food, accommodation, employment, etc nor should there be any stigma associated with their mental health and their need for support with their mind-centred self.
Like most ordinary people, you will be torn between your inclinations to listen to your sub-conscious to protect yourself and look after your own survival instincts (fight or flight) and that of listening to your conscious mind wanting to rationally think through any decisions you face in determining how best to help others (refugees) by focusing more on the needs of others rather than self. After completing this awakening step, you will be prompted to make a decision to either walk away and watch on as others volunteer or join in by signing up as a Volunteer or Self-Helper.
First, identify with situations in your life where (despite your best efforts) where you frequently re-act or felt differently than you believe you should. This experiences might include past experiences where some regret exists or existed. If you cannot empathise with the plight of refugee then consider some of your own emotional triggers that may have been prompted after reading the material presented so far and consider the following reflections:-
- For each/any of the situations identified above in the Physical Tier 1 that make have touched you or resonated with you, describe the emotions you experienced in considering whether you should support our refugee in-take in some way (amazement, surprise, anger, betrayal, relief, sadness, happiness, contentment, shock, confusion, intrigue, doubt, denial, etc.)
- What did each of these emotions teach you about yourself and your current journey through life and your current life balance (of narcissistic vs altruist participation)?
- Did this brief period of reflect (ideally documented in your personal YSH journal) stimulate any potential changes you might consider or any anything which you might be more mindful of in your everyday life in regards to your support for our refugee in-take, the friends you associate with and/or the amount of effort you are prepared to devote to such a problem?
When we sing our National Anthem we become mindful of these words:-
“For those who have come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia Fair.”
Will you live up to our reputation as the land of a “fair go” that lends a hand to those in desperate circumstances? As a nation we are recognised as being extremely generous, willing volunteers, welcoming and united in what we offer. The key decision needing to be considered by your conscious mind is to determine whether you are to be an active member of this national social band or not.
Tier 3 – Soul-centred Self
Your soul is that reflective space between yourself and the events of meaningful experiences you have had in your life to-date. Tier 3 is primarily about identifying with your “Shadow-Self” – the self you are now and the gap between who you know you want to be. It becomes the doorway through which you must pass, into the life you wish to live with depth and passion. It’s about listening to what you know to be true in your heart. About identifying these “shadows” in your life as places of powerlessness. One of the fundamental elements to Tier 3 is forgiveness; forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others. Research has shown that when one engages in “forgiveness” not only does the act impact positively on how we feel through the removal of negative thoughts and emotions (Tier 2), but it also “confers physical heart benefits”.
The shadow-self is that person that has many excuses for being an observer of life rather than a participant; a willing participant with that natural inclination towards helping others; delivering help where it is needed when you know you have the capabilities needed and being sought after. Often you simply need to be placed in a position where it is blatantly obvious that you can help ….. and naturally you do. Because that is who we are. In your heart and soul you know the current you is not your authentic-self. Deep down there is the “real you” inside that wants to get out; a person that is capable of giving more of self to others and in return feeling better about self in leading a good life. Your conscious mind contains programs that have strong negative emotional content associated with particular situations and events in your past life that typically keep being repeated. These programs are triggered by situations that arise in your everyday now life. Emotions like watching all this tragedy unfold on TV, while you comfortably sit back and think ‘thank heavens that is not happening to me and my family”. “Why don’t those European governments just do something about this situation?” Such emotions are getting control of your conscious mind. Your heart and soul are “not in it”; they are not really a part of your authentic life. Once you have identified where and why in the past you have failed to make the “right” decisions in your life and when you choose to continue to live in places of delusion, illusion or denial, you will realise what it is this is causing you to be disappointed in yourself. Places and situations in your life where you know you really do not want to continue with to that extent simply because they are contributing to you being overly self-centred and lacking in compassion for others. Often work is used as the excuse. Yet hours are spent on Twitter, maintaining one’s Facebook account, playing computer games, trolling the internet. It’s all in your mind and regaining control of your powerful conscious mind and reflecting upon your soul that is the challenge.
“We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.” The Talmud
Tier 4 – Spirit-centred Self (Optional)
For those who believe in God, there are some very straight forward matters to pray about and reflect upon in your conversation with the God you know loves you. All the other peoples of the world, who are just as you are, want you to be the best you can be in your life right now in living a good life. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being imperfect; that’s the nature of who we are. No-one is perfect. But with a well-informed conscious mind reflecting upon the full ramifications of our current refugee situation, you too can become fully empowered in your response – with an “I am …” self-reflective response or a “We are …” response from your social perspective. Accepting that you attract these situations to yourself, you accept responsibility for your current state (of who you are and accepting that most of it is self-inflicted). Undertaking new life strategies that give a more balanced regard to all your sub-conscious, conscious and unconscious minds, you begin to accept that the experience of every trigger situations (like this) are opportunities for you in God to freely heal yourself in the knowledge that this process is pleasing to God as well.
Matthew 22 36-40
Jesus response to “One of the Pharisees, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Very powerful social responses like – I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, can open the way for you to communicate to others the change in you and for them to identify with who you really are. And also identify who we are as a society in seeking to live a good life together here on earth. Experiencing faith in yourself and God, hope in your future with God and love of your authentic self and of others in God, you become empowered to fully accept responsibility for who you are and who you choose to be with God as your guide.
Given you have held in there thus far, please consider taking the third step in your transformation by turning these wakening experience into meaningful actions. “Actions speak louder then word”.
Journalising Your Authentic-Self.
The above are a few generic questions and reflections provided for you to consider in deciding who you really are when it comes to your stand on our massive global refugee crisis. Please do not be constrained in your reflections by containing your reflective to just those reflected upon here. Any other questions and reflections occurring while you make your self-responses, in your own personal journal, should be added as well. Added ideally within one of the four F4L tiers. Being fully empowered to raise whatever awakenings occur, as you reflect upon the awareness material, these personal emotions are far more stimulating becuase they are based upon your own life experiences and your awakenings experienced here. Those issues you feel are at the heart of your own unique situation are your own decision. Do not ask why isn’t somebody doing something about solving our refugee problem. Focus on the “our” element which is inclusive of you and your experiences and capabilities. Ask yourself what you might be able to do and to contribute towards its resolution – right here right now. Remembering if everyone else takes the position you do , do you feel our global refugee crisis will be solved and what ramifications would this have on your life and our future generations. The journal is your personal contribution to your own Framework for Life, for living a good life.
Simply download the above material as a framework document to your own highly personal journal to ensure its privacy and security stored on your own PC. Review what you have written until you can say “Yes, this is how I feel on this particular issue right now” or generally your views on this subject for your own personal reflection.
You can download a PDF with these questions here: Awakening Self-Questioning
In order to use this PDF, you should first save the file to your computer and then enter your personal information into the form and save it.
Once you have complete your journal entry, please continue to the 3rd step (Activation) in now drawing up your own Action Plan. A plan toward first doing all the self-help activities you possibly can towards solving your own Obesity problem on your own.
Click the “Refugee” Activation button below explore the “Activation” step. In the next (3rd Activation) step you will be invited to prepare an Action Plan in response in accordance to your “Awakening” experience, turning your journal entry words into action.
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